SPS Today: Be Kind, Live Honorably
School celebrates the Form of 2018
Members of the Form of 2018 earned athletic championships, challenged perceptions with bold theatrical performances, and took action on gun violence and renewable energy debates in the Concord community. As both Rector Mike Hirschfeld ’85 and Sixth Form President Daniel Reuben, who graduated cum laude, noted in their June 3 Graduation remarks, the form members’ achievements are not what defines them.
Hirschfeld spoke of the graduates’ lesson that the strength of any community requires faith, trust, mutual respect, and love. He told the Form of 2018 he believes they are prepared to share that lesson with the world. “It is good and appropriate to reflect on these things on this day, but if we dwelt too long on your achievements, we would be missing the point – really missing the point,” said Hirschfeld. “Achievement and learning often aren’t related, particularly when it comes to the most important kind of learning.”
Reuben credited the School Prayer and its calls to be “unselfish in friendship,” “thoughtful of those less happy than ourselves,” and “eager to bear the burdens of others” as the compass that has set him and his formmates on the path to fulfilling their promise. “As a school, the guidelines we use to shape our ideal community are simple and straight to the point; be kind and live honorably,” said Reuben, adding that he and his fellow graduates have chosen to dig deeper for meaning. “What does it mean to be kind? To be honorable? Are they connected? We could go on, but the good news is, to answer these questions, we don’t have to go far. It’s always been right there in our Chapel Services and Prayers book.”
The form’s legacy, added Reuben, before accepting the President’s Medal from Hirschfeld, will forever be connected to the word emphasized to them when they joined the School community – compassion. “Compassion, the quality our form has been striving for since day one,” said Reuben, “not only represents the third step of kindness, but perfectly depicts who this group has turned out to be.”
Prior to the awarding of diplomas, the School handed out several prizes and scholarships. Summa cum laude graduate Scott Amiran Taber was awarded the Knox Cup “to the student of the graduating form who has attained the greatest distinction in scholarship during his or her years at St. Paul’s School.” Amara Ogukwe received the Schlager Prize for Valor. Olivia Hale (cum laude) was the recipient of the Reverend Dr. Everett P. Smith Prize for contributing “conspicuously to the morale and well-being of the School, its students, or the community.” The Benjamin Rush Toland Medal for “intellectual achievement, athletic ability, and a gallant spirit” went to magna cum laude graduate Benjamin Spiro. Ruby Cheetham (magna cum laude) was awarded the Rector’s Medal in special recognition for her service to the School, while summa cum laude graduate Madeline Buffett received the School Medal for “excellence in the performance of School duties.”
This fall, the 139 members of the Form of 2018 will matriculate at 73 different colleges and universities around the world – more than any form in recent memory.